This past week or perhaps the week before (it’s a recurring instance, so I’m not exactly when this particular instance happened to make me think this) I had a preschooler do something that she knew was wrong. Even before I could say anything to her, she knew what she’d done and hid her face from me, seeking to avoid eye contact. I’m not sure whether she thought by hiding I wouldn’t find out or if by hiding she could avoid whatever consequences might have come. Even now I can’t remember what it was she had done, probably just something like playing with her seat belt (unsnapping and snapping it back).
It’s not just that particular child, but many if not most tend to avoid a parent or teacher when they know they’ve done wrong. Some even lie and answer ‘nothing’ when asked what they did. I haven’t quite figured out if they are afraid of the possibly pending punishment (hey look at that alliteration) or if they just don’t like disappointing the caregiver. For different children it’s for different reasons, but what I’ve also learned over the years is that it doesn’t end in childhood.
God has been convicting me a lot recently and over the past year or so about my avoidance of Him, as if that was possible. All it takes is a day or two of forgetting to read my Bible, or perhaps realizing that I’m behind in my prayer journal or I’ve waited till the last minute yet again to prepare for Sunday School. But instead of going to God with my tail between my legs, confessing that I put other things once again in front of Him in my life, I listen to Satan’s whisper in my ear and hide my face from God.
But just like the little child hiding her face behind another child, I still know she’s there, I know what she’s done and I’m disappointed that she did it again, but I still love her. And God still loves me. He’s not waiting with a tongue lashing, ready to let me have it, telling me ‘you’re old enough to know better’ or ‘I thought you loved me’ or ‘how many times are we going to have to deal with this’. He’s just waiting, waiting with love and forgiveness and mercy. Why? Because I’m His child.
Verse of the week: In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you O Lord make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8